Food Job: Food Truck Owner

Chef movieKeep on trucking has acquired entirely a new meaning these days.

Rice pudding, exotic ice cream, cupcakes, flavored popcorn, french fries, and Korean tacos are just a few among the dozens of street foods on the menus of flourishing food trucks now offering ‘meals on wheels’.

Today, there are regional food truck festivals, food truck awards, even a Chef movie worthy of a truck stop.

A proprietor of a small operation in a busy location can make a fortune providing healthy, hearty, home-made, hand-held sandwiches, comfort food, crepes, lobster rolls, hot soup, or bowls of noodles with which to entice the lunch crowds.

Fido To Go food truck

Fido To Go food truck

An enterprising food trucker named his vehicle K9 while another called her’s Fido To Go. Both cater to dogs. While K9 is known for crushing dog biscuits into what is essentially a canine ice cream cone and topping it with a chili burger, Fido to Go offers premier gourmutt hand-crafted, gluten and allergen-free canine cookies and doggy ice creams/frozen yogurts. There’s no telling who loved the idea more, the dog or its owner. Continue reading

Food Job: Consumer Advocate

bfrankWe are undergoing a massive change in how we think about our food and in the ways we buy, cook, and eat it.

Our opinions are influenced by activists protesting the pollution of the earth’s soil, air, and water, the inhumane treatment of animals, and the presence of hormones, additives, and preservatives. Some of these concerns are amply justified; others have little or no basis in reality.

Our judgments are also molded—far more than we may be prepared to admit—by skillful advertising and by journalists and consumer advocates with axes to grind. As a consumer advocate, you will need to know how to make your words persuade, charm, inform, and inspire action.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is among the leading food consumer advocates. Its accomplishments include leading the efforts to win passage of laws that require ‘Nutrition Facts’ on packaged foods (and, later, to include trans fat on those labels), define the term “organic” for foods, and put warning notices on alcoholic beverages. The organization attracts considerable media attention. Check its website for job opportunities.

Do a Google search of ‘Consumer Food Advocates’ to find other sites such as Food & Water Watch. The information from this group tells us that it is: “A leading national consumer advocacy organization that runs dynamic, cutting edge campaigns challenging the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources. Since 2005, we have won significant victories to protect our food and water. Our work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post and other major media outlets. As a growing organization, we have a number of opportunities for talented organizers, advocates, researchers, and policy experts.” Intern opportunities are available.

Contact the sites that interest you and see what sort of qualifications are required. Check the salary range too.

By the way, did you know the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a free government site that lists average salaries for food jobs throughout the U.S? For example, you will obviously earn more working in a fine dining restaurant in midtown Manhattan than in rural Mississippi even if you are making pancakes and sausages for brunch in both places.

No one ever said life is fair.

 

How to Be a Personal Chef

personal-chef-in-kitchen-vertThe role of personal chef was virtually unknown a few years ago. Today more than 7,000 are registered as active members of the American Personal Chef Association. Industry leaders estimate this number will swell to more than 25,000 within the next 10 years. They will be serving nearly 300,000 clients and contributing nearly $1.2 billion to the U.S. economy.

A personal chef plans menus, shops for food, and cooks it in a client’s home. He may pack it in neatly labeled containers with heating directions, store it in the refrigerator or freezer and, then leave the kitchen in pristine condition. He or she customarily is employed by several clients. Continue reading

Surprise Food Job: Food Myth Buster

“Imagine that you have been washed up on a desert island. There is fresh water available, but you can have only two other foods.” Paul Rozin, professor of psychology at The University of Pennsylvania, asked the following: “From this list, which would keep you going until help arrives: corn, alfalfa sprouts, hot dogs, spinach, peaches, bananas, or milk chocolate?”

The correct answer is hot dogs and milk chocolate. They come closest to providing a diet of survival.”

The researcher Anna Frost explains:

“While they may not be the best everyday diet in normal life, hot dogs and milk chocolate both contain fat, protein, and, in the case of the hot dogs, a better amino acid balance, which give a human sufficient nutrition to survive for a year. Foods like bananas and peaches lack these precious nutrients: they are primarily composed of carbohydrates, water, vitamins, and minerals, and constitute only part of a complete diet. The point of this question is not to prepare people to reenact Gilligan’s Island with a year’s supply of Hebrew National [hot dogs], but instead to consider how we stereotype foods as “good” or “bad.”

Food Job: Myth Buster

Finding Your Food Job “Bliss”

blissA goal is a dream with a deadline. There are so many choices and this too often results in paralysis.

My website designer, Randy Caruso, asked me to describe myself in just three words. I decided I am a writer, teacher and mentor. These are the three things I most enjoy.

If I may, I’d like to give you an example for my own life. For two years, I taught a course in Gastronomy but I was passed over when I applied for a full-time position on the faculty. The evaluations from the students were spectacular and I loved teaching the class.

There was just one problem. Continue reading

Sustainable Cuisine

Food is the common thread that unites us all. It is love made tangible.

No matter what our physical surroundings or our religious and cultural beliefs, we all have many things in common. We all experience the emotions of sorrow and joy, rage and repentance, love and hate, fear and, occasionally, courage.  And everywhere, throughout every part of the world, we gather together to eat and drink at the end of the day. It is this sharing of food that defines us as family and unites us as members of the human family. Continue reading